Indi votes: Hume Riverina Community Legal Service's desperate need for cash

FAIR ACCESS: Labor candidate Eric Kerr has called for a stop to funding attacks on legal services. Picture: MARK JESSER

FAIR ACCESS: Labor candidate Eric Kerr has called for a stop to funding attacks on legal services. Picture: MARK JESSER

Labor has promised $450,000 for the Hume Riverina Community Legal Service, if the party can topple the Coalition in the election.

Indi candidate Eric Kerr said funding over three years would come out of Labor’s $43 million package for frontline legal services.

Hume Riverina CLS was one of the centres facing a 30 per cent cut to funding from July 2017 and staff were worried they would have to turn away domestic violence victims.

Mr Kerr labelled the Coalition’s $30 million boost to funding legal aid and community legal services “a pathetic attempt to fix up the mess they have created”.

“Community legal centres ... help Australians when they are often at their lowest and most desperate,” he said.

Indi and Farrer Greens candidates Jenny O’Connor and Amanda Cohn had also visited the Hume Riverina CLS.

“HRCLS is the only free legal service accessible to the people of Wangaratta, so a reduction in service will heavily impact that community," Ms O'Connor said.